Tuesday, August 20, 2013

TV: Attack on Titan

"Attack on Titan" is an interesting new anime series that I've started following. Based on a manga written by Hajime Isayama, the show is a bleak fantasy tale where humanity has been forced to the edge of extinction by the appearance of homicidal giants. What's left of mankind retreats to a series of enormous concentric walls for protection, with only sporadic (and disastrous) expeditions to the Titan-controlled territory beyond. After a century passes in relative peace, life outside becomes a memory - until the Titans return...

The anime is directed by Tetsurō Araki ("Death Note"), and the first season has been a blast so far. The show feels a lot like "Battlestar Galactica" - a ragtag group of soldiers facing off against an implacable enemy, where anyone can die at any time. I also got a kick out of the "3D Maneuvering Devices," which the characters use to scale the Titans; they're a cross between "Spider-Man" and "Shadow of the Colossus," and provide some visually thrilling sequences. If you enjoy dark fantasy, and don't mind some (at times extreme) violence, you should check out "Attack on Titan."

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Miscellany: Leatherman Brewzer review

It seems like every time I go through courthouse security, I end up getting a keychain multitool confiscated, even the ones that don't have any knives on them.

Sometimes I sidestep this problem by carrying something so benign that it doesn't even look like a tool, something like the Leatherman Brewzer:

The Brewzer (formerly manufactured by PocketToolX until Leatherman acquired them) is a small mini prybar/bottle opener, smaller than most keys. The flat end terminates in a small hooked section that's handy for removing staples or ripping open packages:

The bottle opener works okay, too, though the location of the opener doesn't give you much leverage:
If I could carry any pocket multitool I wanted, I'd carry something like a Victorinox Rambler. Until the day when security doesn't freak out about a blade smaller than a toothpick, or a pair of scissors that couldn't cut a matchbox in half, though, the Brewzer is about the best I can do.